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What's your thoughts on organic vs non organic? Is it all just a hype and marketing attraction. What do you buy and why?i have heard mixed information.
by Shannon Dohner

What's your thoughts on organic vs non organic? Is it all just a hype and marketing attraction. What do you buy and why?i have heard mixed information.


Comments

Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

The USDA defines organic foods as those that are produced without the use of artifical fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, these foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, perservatives or irradiation. Many people choose organic to limit the amount of pesticides, fertilizers or preservatives used on there foods, to avoid genetically-modified foods, to better the environment and support local farmers. I agree that supporting local farmers is important and can best be achieved by shopping at your local Farmers' Market. As far as pesticides are concerned, you can remove most of them that maybe on your foods by adequatley washing them before eating.

Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods or that there are any health benefits to eating organic. As far as being more flavorful, taste is personal and what might taste better to one, may not taste better to another.

If you are going to buy organic, it is important to get the biggest bang for your buck and I recommend spending your money on what has been deemed the "dirty dozen". These are fruits and vegetables that have thinner and more permeable skins that may allow pesticides to actually get into the main part of the food. These foods include: apples, kale, bell peppers, lettuce, carrots, nectarines, celery, peaches, cherries, pears, grapes and strawberries.

I believe that a well-balanced diet, that includes all foods, is the basis for a healthy lifestyle, and if buying organic foods is going to limit the foods in you eat, I would recommend buying non-organic and washing them adequately.


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